Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Yahrtzeit of the Piazeczna Rebbe

4 Cheshvan:
Yahrtzeit of the Piazeczna Rebbe
By Dovid Friedman


4 Cheshvan is the yarzeit of the Piazeczna Rebbe, Reb Kalonymos Kalman, the son of Reb Elimelech of Grodzensk. He died al kiddush Hashem in 5704 on a Tuesday between parshas Noach and parshas Lech Lecha. There is remez to the death of tzaddikim al kiddush Hashem at the end of Noach, where the Midrash Rabbah speaks of Avrohom Avinu being thrown into the furnace.

First, parshas Noach starts off "Noah was a righteous man, whole-hearted in his generation" נח איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו /. The gematria of צדיק תמים היה with the 11 letters is 725. This is equal to קלונימוס קלמן בן אלימלך with the 20 letters.

The Midrash about Avrohom Avinu being thrown into the furnace is found at the end of Noach, on the words "and Haran died in the presence of Terach his father" / וימת הרן על פני תרח אביו. The gematria of קלונימוס קלמן בן אלימלך זצ״ל הי״ד is equal to על פני תרח with the 3 words.

When Avrohom Avinu was thrown in the furnace, the Midrash uses the words לכבשן האש, which equal 709 with the kolel. קלונימוס קלמן בן אלימלך with the 4 words is also equal to 709. Significantly, 709 is also equal to "incense" / קטרת.

קלונימוס is equal to אש ("fire") with the kolel. קלמן is equal to טהור ("pure"). He was אש טהור -- a "pure fire" of avodas Hashem.

בן אלימלך is equal to עקיבא, who died al Kiddush Hashem at the hands of the Romans while saying the Shema. Interestingly, in an unbelievable piece in his sefer, "Aish Kodesh," which was written in the Warsaw Ghetto, the Piazecza Rebbe speaks about how Rebbe Akiva prepared his whole life in order to die al Kiddush Hashem.

After Rebbe Akiva was killed, a Bas Kol came out saying "Happy are you, Rabbi Akiva, that your soul went out with the word "Echad" / אשריך רבי עקיבא שיצאה נשמתך באחד. The words אשריך רבי עקיבא with the letters and kolel are equal to 940, the same gematria as רבי קלונימוס קלמן בן אלימלך with the letters.

At the beginning of וזאת הברכה it says אש דת למו. The words אש דת are exactly equal to קלונימוס קלמן בן אלימלך. It is also equal to אש קדש written without the letter “ו”. It is brought down that דת למו is the letters of תלמוד.

The Piazecza Rebbe was, of course, one of the most innovative Torah educators of modern times.

Zekhuso yagein aleinu!

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